There is an inherent sense of adventure and spirituality on a trip down one of the last wild and free flowing rivers in the West. The feeling is primal as you flow through the Yampa River and join the river confluence, honored for its magic and mysticism in indigenous cultures. This three to four day river journey allows you to let go, as you are completely supported by nature in a raw environment; and tap back into the essence of simplicity—the essence of being human. The shift is blatant as you disconnect from devices and reconnect in nature: sitting by the fire, sharing stories, playing music, challenging your body and spirit. Each day peels off a new layer of connectivity and the flow starts to happen—you begin to come back to your authentic human self. One of the most awe-inspiring moments of a recent Adrift Dinosaur trip for me was paddling through Echo Park and joining the river confluence—where the muddy brown water of the Yampa flows into the striking green/blue color of the Green River, folding and molding together to unite in brilliant harmony. We choose to enter the confluence from a silent float and announce our arrival pounding on hand drums to break the silence. Paddling, music, and conversations came alive, bouncing off the ancient walls. We were rejuvenated; reenergized through nature.
Many people do not realize the deep power resonating within nature that can peel back the accumulated layers from modern society. We are constantly, unknowingly blinded by material items and Western stress—largely due to the unyielding pressure of technology. When we come as we are and open ourselves up to the outdoors, to music, to connection through community, we slowly begin to shed the materialistic layers and feel harmony. The deep awe and respect I have for the river, and what it symbolize as well as its healing qualities inspires the music I write for my band Bonfire Dub, as well as the community events I have created and established in communities throughout Colorado and California. Campout for the Cause in particular—an intimate experiential festival founded in Colorado nine years ago—embraces this feeling of harmony in nature and connection through music and community. The mission is to create a small, family-friendly gathering while giving back to local non-profits dedicated to environmental, educational, and humanitarian causes. My goal is always to give back, because the beautiful spaces we dwell in give so much to us—life, energy, vitality. Once we experience that, it is up to us to spread that message and protect these sacred, natural spaces.